Governing Stem Cell Research in California and the USA: Towards a Social Infrastructure
Past event 13.07.2006
Ass. Prof. David E. Winickoff, Assistant Professor of Bioethics and Society, Division of Society & Environment, UC Berkeley and Visiting Fellow at the ESRC Genomics Forum from 6 July to 31 August 2006.
Boardroom, ESRC Genomics Forum St John's land, 3rd floor (on Moray House quad)
Due to the US government's restrictive human embryonic stem cell (HESC) policies, the question of whether to pursue human embryonic stem cell research has dominated the ethical and political discourse concerning the research. Explicit attention must now turn to problems of implementing the research on a large scale: in the 2004 US elections, California voters approved a state initiative for stem cell research earmarking $3 billion indirect spending over 10 years. This seminar explores three ethical and political problem areas emerging out of the California program, whose resolution will help set the trajectory of HESC research in the US andabroad, then proposes an institutional approach to help address them: a network of public stem cell banks in the United States that feature transparent and shared governance. The talk will also explore whether UK Stem Cell Bank could serve as a useful model for California and the United States.
My research centers on the interaction of science, norms, and political structure in the governance of human health and the environment, with a particular focus on biotechnology and the law. The work draws upon law and Science, and Technology Studies (STS) to analyze and address socio-legal problems. I am especially interested in the processes and practices through which rules and rights are constructed, decisions exerted, and power exercised in regulatory domains involving the life sciences, e.g. intellectual property, environmental protection, food safety, human research subject protection, and public health. Through this work, I also aim to make theoretical contributions in the areas of bioethics, globalization, constitutional law and the science-democracy relationship.